Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Kimberly Crosland, Ph.D.

Keywords

Contingency contract, Intellectual disability, Functional, Attention, Group home

Abstract

Behavioral contracts were used to reduce the socially inappropriate and stigmatizing behaviors of adult men diagnosed with an intellectual disability. All three participants were residing in an intensive residential habilitation facility and receiving 24 hour supports due to the intensity of their problem behaviors. A multiple baseline across subjects with a series of reversals within the intervention phase was used to compare and evaluate the effectiveness of two types of behavioral contracts: one based on the function of the behavior and the other based on highly preferred items. Brief functional analyses were conducted to determine the function of the participants' problem behavior and multiple stimulus without replacement preference assessments were conducted to establish a hierarchy of highly preferred items. Based on the results of the brief functional analyses, all three participants' problem behaviors were likely to be maintained by attention. Results showed that the behavioral contracts resulted in a substantial decrease in maladaptive behaviors for all of the participants and, conversely, an increase in the use of functionally equivalent replacement behaviors; one of the participants showed differentiation between the treatment conditions, indicating that a functional approach might be more beneficial for some individuals.

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